Parents keep up fight for centres

kirklees Council has succumbed to parent power and scrapped proposed changes to children’s centres.

Sunday, 4th March 2012, 6:00 am

It is re-thinking plans to save money by dividing the centres into two types, with some offering more services than others.

The u-turn comes after a public backlash against the plans, in which furious parents staged a number of protests.

But Batley and Spen MP Mike Wood has warned that the while the battle may have been won, the war is far from over.

He said: “Sure Start, as it exists now, remains under threat.

“The proposed changes to staffing numbers and the role of staff within centres will have a detrimental impact on how it operates and what it delivers so successfully.”

And parents will take to the streets of Huddersfield tomorrow (Saturday) to keep the fight for their centres and services going.

Save Our SureStart will march from St George’s Square at 12.30pm to maintain pressure on the council.

Leader of the council Mehboob Khan (Lab, Greenhead) said he listened to campaigners’ views and wanted communities to help shape the way the centres are run.

But he added that money still had to be saved because of cuts in government funding. He said Kirklees wanted to keep all 32 centres open and increase frontline staffing.

New proposals will be considered by the cabinet in March.